Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Exterminating Angel by Ben Goertzel

This story is dedicated to the three artists without whom it would not have been possible: Fyodor Dostoevsky - Philip K. Dick - and of course Julie Delpy Russia, 1987 Vladimir smiled. Things were beautiful. The country house was small, but perfect. It would be the ideal vacation. He looked on admiringly as his young wife Avdotya ran around in the field, with his little son Vaclav. Avdotya was gorgeous, in a wispy sort of way. She always looked like she had one foot in another world. She had this smile that was so close to angelic, it could almost be frightening at times. And Vaclav was so very clever. Only four and a half years old, and he could read already, and do simple sums. He was nimble too. He ran around his mother's legs, doing cartwheels and somersaults. Avdotya ran back towards him. "What do you think?" he said. "Nice, isn't it? We've got it for two whole months." "It's more than nice, it's incredible," said Avdotya, embracing him and kissing him. "I wish we never had to go back to Moscow. It's so crowded and dirty. I wish we could stay here forever." "But it's home," he said. "There's nowhere to work out here. Let's just enjoy it while we have it." "You're so practical, Vladimir. Can't a girl have her dreams?" "Dream, dream, by all means dream," he smiled. "Come on, Vaclav. Let's go down by the river. Maybe we can catch some fish for dinner." The three of them walked happily down toward the river, along a narrow winding path through the woods. "Did I tell you I sold an article to Discover?" he said to Avdotya. "Two thousand five hundred U.S. dollars, they paid me. That's more than I made the last three years put together, at the university." "That's amazing," she said. "You're brilliant. So you can quit your job, and move out to the country." "It's just one article. I wouldn't do that, yet. But it's a possibility...." "Dad, what's a possibility?" asked Vaclav. "Something that might happen." "But anything might happen. So everything's a possibility."

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